Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari still poses a threat ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend, despite dominating the opening day of action at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Fastest in FP1 by more than half a second from Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, the defending champion emerged comfortably fastest again in FP2, forging four tenths clear of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen this time.

Having been hampered by mechanical issues during free practice in Malaysia, Hamilton was simply pleased to get trouble-free beginning to the weekend under his belt, even if he feels he can go faster.

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"The car feels better here because of the cooler weather," he said. "The tyres are not melting, so it feels a bit different and is nicer to drive. I feel like I have got some improvements to make from the car and improvements to get more from the tyres."

Pushed on the threated posed by Ferrari this weekend, despite the comfortable margin back to Raikkonen in FP2, Hamilton accepts the car looks fast again and anticipates it will be a rival come race day.

"It was quite close between us and Ferrari, and Nico's quite quick, so I think we definitely have a race. I am hoping that Mercedes power is better, but we'll see. It will be close but I think we have the power to stay ahead."